What does a property manager do?

Written on October 25, 2017 by , updated on December 3, 2019

property managerA good property manager handles nearly every detail of running a rental property, from finding tenants to collecting rent.

Using a property manager can be a logical choice for an owner with multiple properties. But a manager also benefits owners who haven’t yet built an real estate empire. A property manager can oversee even small rental properties, such as duplexes or single-family homes. They take care of vacant properties as well, ensuring the sites are secure and tidy. A property manager can be well worth the investment, if you don’t want to spend every waking moment dealing with property concerns.

Your property manager can be your best asset and you’ll have more free time and less stress if you have the right manager.

Here are the typical responsibilities of a professional property manager, but please know that not all management contracts are the same, and everything is up for negotiation.

Related: Should I hire a professional property manager?

1. Sets rent rates

A property manager assesses rental rates by researching the neighborhood. Besides investigating the rates of nearby similar rentals, the manager should do the following:

  • Determine whether your property need repairs
  • Find out if you allow pets
  • Find out if you allow smoking

Those factors can affect rental pricing. The manager will also recommend any needed changes or upgrades. This ensures your property rents for a fair market price.

Related: Price your rental with a Cozy Rent Estimate

2. Markets the property

Marketing a rental property to obtain the best tenants in the fastest time possible is a key part of what a property manager does. The manager finds the best online outlets for advertising and does more than just placing ads. The property manager makes your property sound appealing to potential tenants and knows how to advertise your property’s assets.

The best property managers know how to market a property online, which includes taking great pictures, and posting to to a variety of listings sites, including Apartments.com, Craigslist, and Cozy.

Related: The power of premarketing: how to host 70 showings in 7 days

3. Finds good tenants

Property managers help deal with one of the biggest potential headaches a property owner may face: finding good, reliable tenants. The manager handles all calls and applications, performs screenings and background checks, and takes prospective tenants on a walkthrough of the property.

They also follow up with all applicants, letting them know whether they are approved or denied.

Related: 6 warning signs when screening tenants

4. Collects rent and manage finances

Collecting rent and depositing it into your account is a property manager’s task. Handling late payments, partial payments, and other financial issues that may arise with tenants is also part of the job, as is communicating with your tenant over such issues.

Taking care of some of the expenses that are part of running a rental business, such as paying maintenance or utility bills (when applicable), is also part of the job.

An excellent property manager will setup an online rent payment system with your tenants, and have the money directly deposited into your bank account. When a property manger insist on being in the middle of the transaction without being fully transparent with their accounting, it’s possible that they might be stealing from you.

Related: 7 tips for collecting rent and getting paid on time

5. Handles maintenance issues

Your property manager is in charge of maintenance, such as keeping the outside of the property clean and tidy and overseeing in-house maintenance and landscaping crews. The manager oversees snow or leaf removal, pool cleaning, fitness center upkeep, and similar tasks. Typically, the manager hires a third party to handle such tasks for a large property.

The manager is the tenant’s contact person for maintenance and repair requests. They’ll even deal with other tenant concerns such as complaints about noisy neighbors. In these regards, a property manager is a huge asset, especially if you live out of town.

The property manager can also make recommendations on remodeling and upgrades that can benefit the business.

Related: 5 ways to make your rental durable and maintenance free

6. Manages move-outs and evictions

When a tenant moves out, the property manager handles the walkthrough. They assess potential issues and deduct repairs beyond normal wear and tear from the security deposit. The manager also cleans, repairs, and refreshes the rental unit for the next tenant.

Property managers handle evictions and ensure that you follow all laws and regulations to avoid legal issues. The manager sets an eviction policy and makes this clear in every tenant’s rental agreement.


An excellent property manager is worth his or her weight in gold, but as with every profession, it’s difficult to find the real stars.

Every property manager runs their business a little differently, so be sure to ask them about every duty and task listed here before you hire them. If they don’t have a clear and straight-forward answer for you, then you might be better off managing the property yourself.

Managing a rental property yourself is not as hard as it seems. Modern technology, like Cozy, let you accomplish most of these tasks at no cost. When compared to the 8-12% fee that property managers usually take, managing it yourself certainly seems more profitable.

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